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Thread: The Search for the C Car VIN (BTTF)

  1. #1
    Junior Member foreman's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The Search for the C Car VIN (BTTF)

    Hello folks.

    A few friends and I are trying to track down the VIN number for the C Car used in Back to the Future. The C Car, along with one of the offroader desert cars, are the only screenused BTTF time machines that still have unknown VINs. I've seen one post on here that said Offroader #2's VIN was 1076, but as far as we can discern this was disproven. In any case, the C Car is the more important car to identify, since it was one of the original 3 cars purchased for production of the first film.

    For those who don't know, the C Car was the car that was cut up and used for filming interior shots (and later, some of the flying shots in BTTF2). The fate of the car is uncertain, but most believe that the car was destroyed by Universal sometime after filming concluded on the trilogy. And as far as we know no vintage photographs or documents show the VIN of this car. However, due to the variations in DeLorean production through the years, my colleagues have been able to shorten the VIN list of ~6000 to just a couple hundred by process of elimination.

    We know that the C Car was a gray interior automatic (though it was dressed with a stick shift knob and boot to appear like a manual. Vintage photos confirm that the car did not have a shifter, only a PRNDL). After studying some other photographs, we found that the car had a grooved hood with no gas flap, which was instrumental in shortening the VIN list down to only cars from Aug 81 to Nov 81. Later, another DeLorean enthusiast told us something none of us knew; that built-in door straps were first installed in Nov 81 cars. Since the C Car did not have built in straps, it couldn't have been a Nov 81, shortening our list even further. Additionally, after looking up information on VIN 4775, the recently discovered VIN of the B Car, we noted that its location was specified as being in Los Angeles, despite not being marked as the B Car in any of the notes (in contrast to 5261, which is marked as the A Car on various DeLorean directories). Therefore we figured that Universal probably would have bought cars local to them and not from multiple hours away or from other states. With all of this knowledge, we put together a list of every car from Aug 81 to Oct 81 that had a gray interior (or wasn't listed as being black), was an automatic (or wasn't listed as being a manual), and was located in southern California (or did not have a location provided). From there, we did some old fashioned process of elimination by looking up VINs and scratching off any that had confirmed owners (and weren't cut in half).

    Which leaves us where we are now. A list of 219 potential cars that could have been the C Car. But there isn't much more we can do ourselves to narrow the list down. Therefore, we're asking you guys. Provided on this post is a spreadsheet showing every potential VIN, with as much info provided from the directories as we could find. If you own, know the person that owns, or know the fate of any of the VINs in this list, we would greatly appreciate if you'd provide this information so we can shorten this list.

    Thanks for reading. Here is the link to the list: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Ne...ew?usp=sharing



    [Edit] Hopefully this is the correct section to post this, if not, please feel free to either move the post to the appropriate location or delete it and tell me where to repost it
    Last edited by foreman; 05-16-2021 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BladeBronson's Avatar
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    Id check with Danny Botkin at DMC Huntington Beach. He was just involved in the Expedition Unknown miniseries on Discovery+ that purported to show the C car (although since other scenes seem clearly fake, who knows).
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  3. #3
    Junior Member foreman's Avatar
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    That documentary is very fictitious. Very little of what is done or shown is true to life, especially after the first episode. During the scene where they're supposed to be looking at the documentation of all the cars Universal bought, you can see the VINs listed and they're all completely fake. I don't remember off the top of my head, but its something like 1200, 1201, 1202, 1203, and so on. Sequential VINs that aren't even close to any of the actual move car ones.

    It's honestly disappointing that they emphasized the Oxnard Car so much, since its VIN (along with most of its history) is already known. This would've been an actual good opportunity for them to dig up information on the C Car, Offroader #2, and Fiberglass car, but no. Even more ironically the Oxnard car they show in the documentary is not the real Oxnard car, even after making a big deal about the one in the park being a replica and having to hunt down the "real" one in storage.

    Additionally, I won't go into too much detail but Botkin is also not the best person to ask. He's lied about what parts on the time machines were in the past and has done some shady business practices, so I highly doubt he'd know it. And even if he did, he probably would not share it.

    I'm also fairly certain the "C Car" they show in the documentary is not the actual C Car (especially since they don't call it by name). Back in the 90s Universal had cut up another DeLorean, notably with a black interior, to use in their World of Cinemagic liveshow at their park, and I'm fairly certain thats the car that the Sheas are shown to have. Its not shown for very long, but it doesn't look as detailed as the C, and is also missing the front fenders, wheels, hood, etc., which the C Car still had attached to its front half.

  4. #4
    LS Swapper Josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foreman View Post
    That documentary is very fictitious. Very little of what is done or shown is true to life, especially after the first episode. During the scene where they're supposed to be looking at the documentation of all the cars Universal bought, you can see the VINs listed and they're all completely fake. I don't remember off the top of my head, but its something like 1200, 1201, 1202, 1203, and so on. Sequential VINs that aren't even close to any of the actual move car ones.

    It's honestly disappointing that they emphasized the Oxnard Car so much, since its VIN (along with most of its history) is already known. This would've been an actual good opportunity for them to dig up information on the C Car, Offroader #2, and Fiberglass car, but no. Even more ironically the Oxnard car they show in the documentary is not the real Oxnard car, even after making a big deal about the one in the park being a replica and having to hunt down the "real" one in storage.

    Additionally, I won't go into too much detail but Botkin is also not the best person to ask. He's lied about what parts on the time machines were in the past and has done some shady business practices, so I highly doubt he'd know it. And even if he did, he probably would not share it.

    I'm also fairly certain the "C Car" they show in the documentary is not the actual C Car (especially since they don't call it by name). Back in the 90s Universal had cut up another DeLorean, notably with a black interior, to use in their World of Cinemagic liveshow at their park, and I'm fairly certain thats the car that the Sheas are shown to have. Its not shown for very long, but it doesn't look as detailed as the C, and is also missing the front fenders, wheels, hood, etc., which the C Car still had attached to its front half.
    While not the purpose of this thread I have heard only great things about Danny Botkin.
    However when I had a windshield installed at DMCCA he put in the wrong one, and stabbed a forklift fork into the bottom of my body tub and took no responsibility for it.

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  5. #5
    Junior Member foreman's Avatar
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    Can't trust everything you see and hear. I've personally experienced some of the things Botkin has done first hand and it is no good. The same could be said about Joe Walser. The colloquial belief is that he's a hero who saved the A Car DeLorean. He is not. Trust me, I know. That restoration was botched because of him. And he spent more time stealing original parts to keep in his man cave than he did actually leading the restoration. Point is, things aren't always as they appear in the eyes of most people.

    Regardless, that is all besides the point. I was able to prove that the car in the documentary was in fact that Cinemagic DeLorean, as the guy who restored it had a page explaining its origin and how it ended up in the Shea's Collection: http://gregsrestorations.com/delorean_stage_prop.html

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